Picture Me Dead

Picture Me Dead by Heather Graham Read Free Book Online

Book: Picture Me Dead by Heather Graham Read Free Book Online
Authors: Heather Graham
would be lost, so feminine, so beautiful, quasi-tragic, talking to him about her personal life….
    Then so tough. She was capable in any situation, and she was as good as any guy on the force.
    She was his partner. She couldn’t keep things from him. If she knew anything, suspected anything…
    She hadn’t. At least, she had insisted that she hadn’t. But maybe she had been in a position to find out.
    What the hell had she been doing? He’d never known. And he should have. He’d been her partner, for Christ’s sake! She’d died in a car, remnants of alcohol and narcotics in her bloodstream. Accidental death, that had been the ruling. She’d lost control of her car. There had been no evidence of foul play. Even so, during the inquest, all the dirt had come out. Her troubled marriage. Her close friendship—more than friendship?—with Jake.
    She was gone.
    The victim of a terrible accident. He hadn’t believed it. Not then. Not now.
    And he’d never met anyone like her.
    Something suddenly stirred in his mind.
    A brief flash, an odd and fleeting sensation. Then he knew…. Earlier, he’d felt a strange sense of déjà vu. A sense of…
    Memory.
    Earlier that day. Maybe it had been because on some subconscious level he’d known it was Nancy’s birthday. But he had come across someone who reminded him of Nancy. Strange, too, because Nan had been tall, five-ten, dark, willowy. He hadn’t seen anyone like that.
    It hadn’t been that the girl looked like Nancy, he realized. It had been something in her manner, her self-confidence, her assurance. She’d had Nancy’s ability to stand her ground, undaunted, speak her mind…not back down, fight it out and still, somehow, leave a trace of magnetism behind.
    Nick’s niece. The redhead he’d bumped into that morning. Not small, but at best she was about five-six. He’d seen her before…but not often. Years ago she’d been around the place more, but she’d looked different back then, not much more than a kid. Gangly as a palm tree, a pile of flyaway hair, enormous green eyes, always running somewhere. Time had gone by; he hadn’t hung around Nick’s all that much lately. Not in almost five years, though he had applied for the new slip at the marina, the one he’d just moved into, almost a year ago now.
    She’d changed. She wasn’t gangly anymore. She was curved in all the right places, and her flyaway hair was more like a sexual beacon now. Attractive, yes. But what he remembered was her voice. Her indignation. Cool, aloof, even in anger, those eyes able to sizzle into someone with total condemnation.
    She was in the academy, Nick had told him.
    So the kid was going to be on the force. Great.
    With something about her that was so much like Nancy…
    Shit. It felt as if he’d suddenly been wrapped in ice.
    He hoped to hell she wasn’t too much like Nancy. A woman with too many ethics, too much determination—and not enough sense to be afraid.
    He didn’t even know her. Her life was none of his damned business. And maybe she wasn’t that much like Nancy; maybe he had just made the association because it was Nancy’s birthday.
    He felt a strong sense of sympathy for Brian.
    He drained the last of the beer. He wanted another.
    No, not a beer. A single-malt Scotch.
    Hell, he wasn’t going anywhere tonight.
    He went back into the kitchen, poured a shot, made it a double.
    Somehow, he was damned well going to sleep that night.
    Â 
    Ashley, Karen and Jan had reached the hotel with no further trouble. They’d checked in and spent a few hours sipping piña coladas at the pool. After talking it over, they opted for the show that night and dancing the following evening.
    The horses were magnificent, and the entire show was a lot of fun. Ashley found a message waiting on her phone when the show was over. Len had indeed decided

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